Uncontested vs. contested

Fairway Divorce Solutions - Canada’s Divorce Experts

What is an Uncontested divorce vs. a Contested one?


An uncontested divorce occurs when one spouse files an application for divorce, and the other spouse does not file an answer. On failing to file a response, this fundamentally affirms the spouse agrees with the separation.

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce papers, which most often does not require the parties to go to court. For an uncontested divorce to be valid, the parties must have resolved all issues such as child custody and access, as well as child and spousal support through a separation agreement or court order. An application for divorce may be submitted before the courts one year after the separation date, or earlier if there are grounds for mental and physical cruelty, or when a signed affidavit admitting to adultery is filed (consult a lawyer first).

Uncontested divorces are generally faster and more efficient resulting in less stress and cost; whereas contested divorces are usually longer and costlier.

Once everyone agrees on the terms of the divorce and separation agreement, the process is simple and typically without much cost or time. Usually, it is waiting for the courts to process after you submit the paperwork.


A contested divorce occurs when the spouses disagree on some or all of the issues within the divorce papers. Most commonly, these disagreements include child and spousal support, the division of the financial gains/losses accumulated during the marriage, and the parenting schedules. Both parties then must set out their positions and views on the issues in dispute. Contested divorces may be settled many ways, for instance, outside of court using mediation and negotiation professionals, or through formal divorce procedures.

A person can remarry as soon as a divorce judgement is granted.

Most often, contested divorces are expensive and can result in years of fighting and higher costs.

Traditional System

  • Lawyer vs. Lawyer
  • Adversarial position bargaining
  • Pitting each party against each other thereby increasing legal fees
  • Using emotional distress and difficult life event to fuel rights
  • Expensive experts having to prepare for court battles
  • Affidavits filled with perception labeled as facts that you can never take back

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We make sure you are an empowered decision maker by ensuring you have all the financial knowledge to make a good decision. Our goal is to help you achieve a fair outcome that reflects your desires with regards to money and children. We ensure you have a proactive plan that stands the test of time.